On Memorial Day we honor those who gave their lives for us to live in a safer, better nation. They put us, people whom they never met, ahead of their own lives.
I thank them for their service, their lives, their selflessness, their courage, and their belief in this country.
We saw similar selflessness and courage here at home last Friday, when two men were killed and a third injured as they stood up against a white supremacist hurling racial slurs at two young Muslim teens on a commuter train in Portland, Oregon.
The alleged killer, Jeremy Joseph Christian, tried to flee the scene but was apprehended; he has been charged with two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder.
I don’t want to think about this man right now. I will have to eventually, because he represents a growing problem in our nation – that of more and more public racism and hate crimes. It’s as if there’s now a green light for people with animosity toward the ‘other.”
This topic will have to be revisited, but on Memorial Day, I want to honor the memory of brave Americans. In this post in particular, that means these three men:
They stood up when they didn’t have to. They could have been spectators. They could have said it wasn’t their problem and moved on.
But that’s not what they did.
They saw hate and they stood up against it.
They saw someone threatened, someone they didn’t know, and they did not hesitate to speak out.
There are not enough words to express the awe I feel of these men, and the debt I feel to them.
“Whosoever kills an innocent human being, it shall be as if he has killed all mankind, and whosoever saves the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind” – Quran 5:32
For a moment, we were saved.
Through crowdfunding, over $1 million has been raised for funeral costs, medical expenses, and support for the families of these men.
As we remember our fallen soldiers, our protectors, let us not forget these everyday soldiers who embodied the true spirit that our nation was built on: standing against injustice in the face of hate and discrimination.
The 30 Days of Ramadan blog is written by Sobia Siddiqui, CAIR-Houston’s Operations Coordinator.